Senators Make Initial Motion to Override Governor’s Veto on Two Bills

NM SENATE News:

SANTA FE–Senate Majority Whip Tim Keller (D-17-Bernalillo) and Senator Howie Morales (D-28-Catron, Grant & Socorro) successfully removed two bills – Senate Bill 7 (SB7) and Senate Bill 588 (SB588) from the Secretary of State’s office and placed them on the Senate agenda for the purpose of an Override of the Governor’s Veto.

“Without this bill [Senate Bill 7 (SB7)] creating a tax expenditure budget, meaningful tax reform and business incentives are impossible to evaluate,” Keller said. “The result of this veto is a preemptive strike against meaningful efforts to bring accountability and transparency to our tax and budget. The lack of a tax expenditure budget despite the executive order, speaks to the need to make simple accounting reports a matter of law in the name transparency and accountability regardless of who is on the fourth floor. It’s time we get a handle on the $1 billion in tax carve outs we give away each year.”

SB 7 passed unanimously by the House and Senate in 2011, but was vetoed by Gov. Martinez that same year. Ironically, an almost identical bill, House Bill 235, which was carried by former State Representative and Martinez’s Deputy Chief of Staff Brian Moore, was vetoed in 2007 by then Gov. Bill Richardson.

Martinez issued an executive order nearly identical to SB 7, however, two years later the complete report has never materialized. The administration did produce a draft report that included only half the state’s tax expenditures, and lacked any information on associated jobs or effectiveness despite those requirements being in the governor’s executive order.

SB 588, which is designed to create a fair and inclusive evaluation system for teachers and principals, also passed the House and the Senate last year, and was vetoed by the Governor.

The current teacher evaluation system in place has been severely scrutinized by teachers around the state and continues to be implemented by Public Education Department Secretary Designate, Hanna Skandera, whose position is announced to be voted on by the Senate Rules Committee this session.

“SB 588 is important to New Mexico’s public education system because educators deserve to be evaluated by those who know that system inside and out,” Morales said. “Creating a sound and reasonable way to evaluate these respected professionals will not only keep good educators in New Mexico schools, but will assure that our children have the best educators teaching them and preparing them for higher education. This has a long term affect on assuring our state has educated professionals being molded for the future workforce.”

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